title: Near Miss
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: vaguely Saeki/Fuji, Yuuta
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Saeki makes his play
notes: takes place before the series, shortly before Fuji starts at Seigaku. also, not nearly proofed enough. *shrugs*

Saeki had him pinned. He put one hand on the wall on either side of Fuji's face. Fuji's eyes were wide open, watching him, measuring him. They were blue, Saeki noted with ridiculous glee. He was either about to get the shit knocked out of him, or he was going to get some action.

He smirked. Either way, there was no walking away from this now.

He leaned in slowly, mindful of the way that Fuji was just watching him. "If you don't say or do anything, I'm going to kiss you."

"Are you?" Fuji murmured. The corners of his lips turned up minutely, and even if Saeki found the grin a bit condescending, it was still encouraging. "Are you sure?"

Saeki moved in closer, so that he could smell Fuji's minty breath. Damn it, he'd been prepared. But then, getting one up on Fuji Syuusuke was no mean feat. Saeki ignored Fuji's question, and just kept moving forward until his lips were nearly touching Fuji's. It was in that last second that he started to panic, realizing that this would be his first kiss. He remembered that he was supposed to keep his eyes closed, though closing his eyes on Fuji didn't seem like that hot an idea. He remembered that he was supposed to part his lips. He remembered that he was supposed to breathe.

He'd just barely touched his mouth to Fuji's when the door swung open loudly, followed almost immediately by an angry shout. "What the hell is going on here?"

Saeki jumped back, momentarily afraid that it was Fuji's father, home early from work. His heart was already trying to break out of his chest when he realized it was Yuuta. Just Yuuta!

"Yu-Yuuta!" Fuji stuttered, squirming against the wall. That didn't seem right to Saeki, but he didn't have time to consider it.

"What are you doing?" Yuuta stared at Saeki, and then at his brother, and then at Saeki again. "I thought you were my friend! I should have known better, though..." He turned his glare to his brother. "I can't have anything without you taking it away, or getting something better! He was my friend first! Why did you have to steal him?"

It was at that precise moment that Saeki knew that something had gone seriously awry with his plan.

"Yuuta," Fuji sighed. "It's not..."

"Shut up!" Yuuta's rage was making him twitch and spasm. "I'm sick of listening to you! I'm sick of being related to you! I hate you!" Yuuta turned and fled, and before Saeki could say anything, Fuji pushed him out of the way and followed his brother. Saeki considered following, but it wasn't long before he realized that was unnecessary. He couldn't hear everything Fuji said, exactly, but he heard Yuuta perfectly. Everything was Fuji's fault. He had stolen Saeki away on purpose. Saeki had just been using him to get to Fuji. Everything in the universe revolved around Fuji, and no one cared about Yuuta at all.

Saeki sighed and sat down on the ground. In retrospect, it was quite clear that he should have talked to Yuuta before attempting anything with Fuji. It was true that he had been Yuuta's friend first, even though he and Fuji were the same age and had as much in common. And still, it might not be that big of a deal, except.

Fuji Syuusuke would smile in the middle of being mugged, but fuck with his brother, and it would be a good idea to learn to like the taste of mud.

It was quiet for a long spell, and Saeki poked around Fuji's room in the least intrusive way he could possibly do so. He looked over the cds that were lying around the stereo, and the movies around the vcr, and he wondered if Fuji actually liked any of them, or if he had them just because he was supposed to like those sorts of things. He quietly opened the drawer in Fuji's bedside table, and nearly laughed out loud at his disappointment at not finding anything more incriminating than a manga for girls. He sat down in the middle of the mat covering Fuji's floor, and waited.

When Fuji reentered the room, he did look at Saeki momentarily, but it was with a flicker of irritation. "As long as you are still here, you should go talk to Yuuta."

Saeki dutifully conceded the point, picking up his backpack as he stood. Clearing his throat, he decided to say something rather than nothing, more because he didn't want to walk out of there like a criminal. "Sorry about... well, the way things turned out."

Fuji flicked on his desk lamp and opened his notebook, appearing to already be engrossed in his work.

Yuuta was in the kitchen, poking unhappily at a bowl of ice cream. Saeki took three deep breaths, smiled, and joined him. "Hey."

"Hey," Yuuta blushed, and became so engrossed in his dish that all Saeki could see was the top of his head.

Saeki did not sigh, and he did not get cross. After all, Yuuta was his friend, and he didn't want to forget that, ever. "Look, man, I'm sorry that I didn't talk to you first about... well, what you saw. That was bad form on my part."

Yuuta shrugged. He nervously stabbed at his ice cream, watching Saeki from behind his bangs. "You aren't. Um. Mad at me?"

Saeki reached across the table, scooping up a dripping stream of ice cream with his finger. "Naw, man. Look, that... that didn't have anything to do with you and me, ok? Like I said, my bad for not giving you the head's up."

Yuuta pushed the bowl to the middle of the table eagerly, leaning back to swipe another spoon from the drawer behind him. "Don't worry about it! I mean, I'm sorry that I freaked out, but in a way, it's kinda cool. I don't know what you see in my brother, but you're one of my best friends, so if I have to put up with anyone hanging around him all the time, I'm glad it's you."

Saeki laughed. "Well, thanks, but don't get your hopes up. Your brother isn't very forgiving, you know."

Yuuta blinked. "What do you mean? I think he said he kinda wanted you to... you know, kiss'm."

Saeki swallowed his bitterness with a spoonful of ice cream. "Well, I mean, why wouldn't he? But he's a bit... protective of you."

"Ha!" Yuuta scowled. "He tortures me constantly!"

"Yes," Saeki agreed reasonably. "But he thinks he's the only one allowed to do that."

"No one consulted me," Yuuta grumbled. "Anyway, that'd be a stupid reason to not... You'll see, he'll forget all about this in like, five minutes."

Saeki shifted nervously in his seat. "Maybe. Dunno. Anyway, we'll be started at new schools next week, and the tennis season will get underway..."

"Yeah, too bad you have to go to Rokkaku. It's be really cool if you were going to Seigaku, too."

Saeki smirked. "Yeah, but it'll be fun, kicking Seigaku's ass, when the time comes."

Yuuta nearly bounced in his chair at the thought. "Yeah! Except, well, if I'm on Seigaku... Then we'll rip you a new one."

Laughing, Saeki took another large bit of Yuuta's ice cream. "Hey, Yuuta... this doesn't, you know, freak you out? I mean, you know... your brother and I both... being interested in other guys?" He didn't know why his voice kept dropping lower and lower. He knew that Yuuta's parents were at work, and his sister was out, too. Still. It wasn't the sort of thing he could talk about in the Fuji kitchen without whispering.

Yuuta shook his head dismissively. "Nah. I've always known that my brother was a freak. I'm cool with it."

Saeki bit the inside of his lip to keep from barking out laughing. "Thanks, man. You're a good friend, Yuuta."

Yuuta blushed and looked away. Saeki sighed. It may not have ended the way he had hoped, but he wasn't out of the game yet.

After all, Yuuta wasn't off in thinking that someone could get close to Fuji by being close to him... And if he got good enough to beat Fuji on the courts, especially in a real match, there was no way Fuji wouldn't acknowledge him.